Frequently Asked Questions

Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan

What does IFAP stand for? What are its salient features?

The IFAP stands for The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan. A premier professional body of Forensic Accountant and Forensic Auditors (FAs) in the Pakistan. The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) was established/set up in 2009 at Islamabad, Federal Government of Pakistan, a Certificate of Registration obtained from Registrar Joint Stock Companies, under the Societies Registration Act of XXI of 1860. Also registered with the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO Pakistan).

What are the functions of the IFAP?

The functions of IFAP include: (1) Development and Regulation of the Forensic Accounting and Forensic Auditing Profession in Pakistan. (2) Conduct of Examinations for passing of Forensic Accountant/Forensic Auditor (FA) Program. (3) Promote and develop the adoption of scientific methods in Forensic Accounting and Forensic Auditing. (4) Develop the professional body of members and equip them fully to discharge their functions in the area of Forensic Accounting and Forensic Auditing. (5) Exercise supervision over the entrants to the profession and to ensure strict adherence to the best ethical standards by its members. (6) Organize seminars and conferences on the subjects of professional interest in different parts of the Pakistan. (7) Carry out research activities covering various economic spheres and the publishing of books and disseminating information of professional interest to help its members. (8) Publication of highly reputed in house Professional Journal “The Forensic Accountant Pakistan”. (9) Regular interaction with the Government, Regulatory Authorities and Chambers of Commerce & Industry. (10) Issuance of Forensic Accounting and Forensic Auditing Standards.

What are the Stages to be pursued to become a Forensic Accountant (FA)?

There are Four Stages to pursue Forensic Accountant/Forensic Auditor (FA) Program: (1)

Foundation Stage. (2) Certificate Stage. (3) Diploma Stage (4) Professional Stage.

What are the papers/subjects/courses in Foundation Stage, Certificate Stage, Diploma Stage and Professional Stage?

The papers/subjects/courses for Foundation Stage are:- Module 1

Paper FS 1       Introduction to Forensic Accounting

Paper FS 2       Concepts & Techniques of Fraud Examination Paper FS 3                        Taxation & Company Laws

Module 2

Paper FS 4       Business Communication & Behavioral Studies Paper FS 5                        Information Technology

Paper FS 6       Legal and Regulation Framework I (Cyber/Banking/Insurance Laws)

The papers/subjects/courses for Certificate Stage are:- Module 3

Paper CS 7       Investigation Process and Techniques (Forensic Accounting/Forensic Auditing) Paper CS 8                        Corporate Performance Management

Paper CS 9       Evidence/Qanoon e Shadaat Order 1984

Module 4

Paper CS 10     Forensic Auditing and Reporting Paper CS 11                        Financial Accounting and Reporting Paper CS 12                     Cost and Management Accounting

The papers/subjects/courses for Diploma Stage are:- Module 5

Paper DS 13     Public Financial Management Paper DS 14                        Financial Analysis and Modelling

Paper DS 15     Legal and Regulation Framework II (NAB/FIA/FMU/FBR/SECP/SBP) Paper DS 16                     Expert Opinion and Dispute Resolution

The papers/subjects/courses for Professional Stage are:- Module 6

Paper PS 17     Business Valuation Management

Paper PS 18     Corporate Governance and Administration Paper PS 19                     Criminology, Legal Environment & Ethics

Module 7

Paper PS 20      Risk Management

Paper PS 21      Financial Crimes Measures and Compliance

Paper PS 22      Legal and Regulation Framework III (CrPC/CPC/AMLA/Benami)

Module 8

Paper PS 23      Digital Forensic

Paper PS 24      Case Studies in Financial Crimes

Research Work/Thesis/Project/Internship

  1. 15,000 Words Thesis
  2. Presentation on PowerPoint
  3. Three months internship at Law Firm/Accounting Firm

What is Forensic Accounting?

Forensic Accounting is not “accounting for dead people” (yes, we’ve been asked this many times). Also known as investigative accounting, Forensic Accounting is a detailed examination and analysis of financial documents and records for use as evidence in a court of law.

Who Retains Forensic Accountants (FAs)?

Forensic Accountants (FAs) are retained by law firms, corporations, banks, government agencies, insurance companies, and other organizations to analyze, interpret, summarize and present complex financial and business related issues in a simple and concise manner.

How is forensic accounting different from an audit?

The difference between the public’s expectation of the purposes and objectives of an audit and the CPA’s/CAs responsibilities under Generally Accepted Auditing Standards/IFRS has been referred to as the “expectation gap”. Forensic Accounting can help to bridge the expectation gap.

Do I need a Forensic Accountant (FA)?

Forensic Accountants (FAs) help make sense of financial information. Situations in which you might need a Forensic Accountant (FA) include: Divorce, Business Disputes, Employee Fraud, Probate Estate Matters, Financial Statement Fraud, White Collar Crime and Ponzi Schemes. If you are having trouble finding financial information, need to identify fraudulent transactions or need to calculate damages from an injury at the fault of someone else, it is likely that you will need a Forensic Accountant (FA).

What is the difference between Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination?

Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination are distinct but somewhat related. Forensic Accounting work is done by Forensic Accountants (FAs) in anticipation of litigation, which can include fraud, bankruptcy, valuation and other professional accounting services. On the other hand, Fraud Examination can be conducted by either Forensic Accountants (FAs) or non-accountants and refer only to anti-fraud matters.

What is a FA Designation? Forensic Accountant (FA)

A Forensic Accountant (FA) is a specialist educated and trained in the detection and deterrence of a wide variety of white-collar crimes and financial crimes. All Forensic Accountants (FAs) must meet the rigorous criteria for admission to The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP). Thereafter, they must exemplify the highest moral and ethical standards and must agree to abide by the IFAP’s Code of Professional Ethics. The Forensic Accountant (FA) designation is a statement of applied competence in the field of Forensic Accounting, Forensic Auditing, Forensic Investigation and Fraud Examination. Successful completion of the FA Exam is an affirmation of one’s ability to conduct complete, efficient, thorough and ethical fraud investigations. Members of the Institute specialize in a wide range of fields, including fraud investigation, criminology, internal and external auditing, loss prevention and security, forensic accounting, law, law enforcement, investigation at the local, provincial and federal levels, education and others as well as students of these fields.

How can a Forensic Accountant (FA) help my case?

Forensic Accountants (FAs) can assist throughout the litigation process. During discovery and fact- finding, they can aid your investigation by advising you on what documentation you should obtain. They can also help you identify the accounting and valuation questions pertinent to your case, which includes their assistance with formulating requests for production, interrogatories and questions to be asked of witnesses at deposition and trial. Thus, this process can help you streamline your trial strategies and the focus of your case. The earlier you hire your Forensic Accountant (FA) in the litigation process, the more assistance and support you will likely receive.

What qualities should I look for in selecting a Forensic Accountant (FA)?

There are a number of qualities you should look for when selecting a Forensic Accountant (FA) to work with on your case. The following summarizes some of the factors to consider in selecting a Forensic Accountant (FA) or Valuation Consultant on a legal matter: Experience: How many years of practical accounting and expert consulting experience do they have? Education: Are they licensed as a Forensic Accountant (FA)? Do they have any professional designations? Do they stay current with continuing education courses, books and publications? Ability to communicate: Will they be able to clearly express complex accounting theories and explain financial issues in a manner a jury can understand? Have they given presentations to attorneys and other professionals? Impartiality: Will they be objective? Have they served as consultant both to plaintiffs and the defence in litigation matters? Credibility: Do they appear to be honest and believable? How do you think they will be perceived by a judge or jury? Support: In the preparation of your case for trial, how much advice and support do you think they will offer? Do they appear to be committed to your case without being biased? Confidentiality: Do they understand the importance of the attorney-client relationship? Do they have experience with handling highly sensitive documents?

I am a non-commerce graduate. If I join the FA Program, can I cope with it?

The candidate profile of the FA Program indicate that 21% of the FA candidates are engineers, 14% of the candidates are from science stream and 11% are graduates in Arts. Thus 46% of the FA candidates have non-commerce background. If you are willing to put in the necessary hard work, you should be able to cope with the FA Program even though you are a non-commerce graduate.

I am a Chartered Accountant/Cost & Management Accountant. How will the FA Program help me?

The CA/CMA Programs would have surely provided you with a strong foundation in accounting, auditing and taxation. Based on that foundation you can go through the FA Program with greater ease. By doing the FA Program you will deepen your insights and broaden your perspectives in Forensic Accounting, Forensic Auditing, Forensic Investigation, Fraud Examination, Anti-Money Laundering Laws, Criminology, Corporate Governance and its allied subjects. Thus, you will be able to build on your expertise in Forensic Accounting and Forensic Auditing. Since case study method is used extensively in the FA Program, your skills in applying forensic accounting knowledge to practical situations will increase enormously.

Can Chartered Accountants/Cost & Management Accountants use the FA Designation after qualifying in the IFAP examinations?

Yes. In fact, there are a number of Chartered Accountants/Cost & Management Accountants (CAs/CMAs) who are currently pursuing the FA Program. There are many Chartered Accountants/Cost & Management Accountants (CAs/CMAs) who are already qualified as FAs. There are absolutely no restrictions on Chartered Accountants/Cost & Management Accountants (CAs/CMAs) to pursue the FA Program, to become a member of IFAP (after completing all the Four Stages/24 papers/subjects/courses of the FA Program) and to use the FA Designation. If you need any further clarifications in this regard, please feel free to write to us.

I am a qualified Company Secretary/Corporate Secretary/Chartered Secretary. In what way will the FA Program be useful to me?

As a Company Secretary/Corporate Secretary/Chartered Secretary, you are exposed to Board level matters and situations involving top management. An in-depth understanding of Forensic Accounting and Forensic Auditing can be extremely useful to you in adding value to your professional career. The FA Program provides you with a comprehensive perspective of Forensic Accounting and Forensic Auditing.

Is it possible to pay the fee in instalments?

Yes, IFAP offers an instalment facility to the candidates enrolling into the FA Program. The fee can be paid in convenient monthly instalments, by way of post-dated cheques/credit card by using the post-dated credit card slips.

Is there any Admission Test for enrolling into the FA Program?

No, there is no Admission Test for enrolling into the FA Program. The FA Program is offered on a physical classes/distance learning basis/online system and is open to all those applicants who satisfy the eligibility criteria.

I am told that the IFAP examinations are very tough and extremely difficult to pass. Can you clarify?

Someone has obviously scared you too much. The IFAP examinations are, no doubt, rigorous as they seek to test the conceptual understanding and practical application skills of the candidates. However, candidates who are prepared to put in reasonable efforts on a regular basis would be able to clear the examinations without much difficulty.

Is the FA Program of IFAP recognized by the Government of Pakistan?

The Federal Government of Pakistan registered and approved the Forensic Accountant (FA) Program. Several Government and Quasi-Government organizations are encouraging their employees to do the FA Program by reimbursing the FA Program fee. More importantly, IFAP believes that, in the emerging deregulated economic environment what matters most is the recognition by the employers. A number of leading organizations from the public and private sector have advertised for FAs for executive positions which is indicative of the growing recognition for the FA qualification.

Will IFAP provide any placement assistance to the FAs?

Yes, IFAP has an active placement program which is coordinated by a Placement Committee. The Placement Committee helps the FAs in getting suitable placements by giving guidance to them and networking with potential employers. However, IFAP believes that the entire placement exercise is a joint effort between IFAP and the candidates. Thus, the candidates also have the responsibility to put in maximum possible efforts for getting suitable placement.

What is ethics and professional scepticism and what do I have to do?

Ethics is more than just knowing the rules around confidentiality, integrity, objectivity and independence. It’s about identifying ethical dilemmas, understanding the implications and behaving appropriately. We integrate ethics throughout the FA qualification to develop your ethical capabilities–so you’ll always know how to make the right decisions and justify them. Ethics is examined in context with all Levels of the AFA/FFA.

Where can I submit the Application Form for Admission into the FA Program?

You can submit the completed Application Form for Admission at the IFAP Islamabad Office: #01, First Floor, Selex Centre, Plot # 25-A, Opposite Virtual University Campus, Markaz G-10, Islamabad- Pakistan, Tel: +92 51 235 5056, Cell: +92 336 320 4185/+92 300 531 3597, Email:,, Website: